I haven't eaten margarine in years.
I recently received a chain email telling me that margarine was one molecule away from being plastic. This email was so convincing a person might be inclined to believe it. As a matter of fact, so many people have believed it that I felt compelled to write an article about it. While it is not true that margarine is almost a plastic, there were a few parts of the letter that were true.
First, butter is natural while margarine is not. The people who are going to choose butter over margarine are the people who stick with organics. On the other hand, people who are health conscience are going to choose margarine because it is cholesterol free, and lower in saturated fats. Some brands of margarine are even offering some trans-fat free versions. You really have to decide which direction you want to take. I personally do choose to go with the organics.
Second, butter does eventually spoil while margarine lasts a long time. The letter states that margarine is like plastic in that you can leave it in a garage and not even a single fly will land on it. The truth is that margarine doesn't spoil easily because it is made out of vegetable oils that are less susceptible to bacteria and fungi that you would normally find in dairy products such as butter.
Third, we must talk about flavor. I am sure some people might say that margarine tastes like plastic, but when cooked in recipes I highly doubt one can tell the difference. It's true that if I butter up a piece of bread I do it with real butter because I prefer the flavor, but I don't think the margarine tastes like plastic. Whether you choose butter or margarine is best left up to your own taste buds.
Fourth,you need to consider the molecules that make up a plastic. What you want to look for is not just the same molecules, but how they are arranged together. If you do some research on that subject, you will see that butter and margarine are very similar. They are just arranged differently. So if you say margarine is one molecule away from being a plastic, than butter would be to. Since we know that isn't true we can discount that statement.
Finally, I must consider talking about the price. Let's face it, I can get a pack of margarine for $.89 while butter costs me three times that amount. It only makes sense if you are on a strict food budget that you save yourself some money when it comes to cooking. Like I said above, most recipes don't taste much different if you use margarine instead of butter.
If you ever get one of these emails I encourage you to do a little searching around before you take it as fact!